Simple Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

So you may think I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy, and you’d be right. I’ve been walking around singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” because it is. Apples and pumpkins and soups and love!

You may remember my berry oatmeal brûlée from awhile back. I’ve gussied up my oatmeal again with a fall makeover featuring, you guessed it, pumpkin! I prepared the oatmeal using Mark Bittman’s walk away method, which requires minimal hands-on time. My favorite thing about his recipe is that it makes a lot of oatmeal, so you can store it in the fridge and reheat it throughout the week. This is a naturally gluten-free and vegan breakfast option.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée


1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Brown and white sugar for topping
Optional: raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, or pieces of apple


1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Put the oats and salt in an medium sized ovenproof saucepan (I use a small dutch oven). Pour water over the top and bring to a boil. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other optional ingredients. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven.

2. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the saucepan or dutch oven and check on the consistency of the oats. If they’re too crunchy, return them to the oven for another 5 minutes. Otherwise, spoon them into the ramekins.

3. Top with brown sugar and then white sugar. Brown sugar burns much more quickly than white sugar, so it’s helpful to have a layer of white sugar on top. Lightly move your brûlée torch back and forth over the sugar topping until it turns into a rich brown glaze.

Tip: If you’re reheating the oatmeal, simply add a bit of milk, stir it around in the ramekin, and microwave for 45 seconds to one minute. Then add the sugar, and torch as usual.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Brûlée

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Flourless Strawberry + Chocolate Petit Fours

Flourless Chocolate Strawberry Petit Fours // Frock Files

Sometimes I take a really long time to catch on to things. My parents raved about Harry Potter for two years before I caved in and read (okay, devoured) the entire series. And then it was like, “Why did I wait so long?!” and they were like, “We told you!” because they’re a thousand times hipper than I am.

That’s how I felt when I finally made brownies with black beans. People had been pushing me to try them for awhile, but it took me until now to hop on the legume bandwagon. And then – bam – conversion was complete. I began dreaming of these brownies. I had a regular brownie and realized it wasn’t as good as these bad boys. And then I started to imagine all the different ways they could be doctored up. And then it hit me: flourless strawberry-chocolate petit fours.

Flourless Chocolate Strawberry Petit Fours // Frock Files

Brownie recipe from Babble. Glaze recipe adapted from Sugarhero.



1 19 oz (540 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Interior: strawberry jam
Topping: Whole strawberries (or other berry of choice)


1 envelope powdered unflavored gelatin
3/4 cups water, divided use
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1. Preheat the oven to 350. Throw all of the brownie/cake ingredients into your food processor. Blend until smooth (blend for a minute or so, scrape the edges, and blend again). Pour into greased 8″ x 8″ pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Mix the gelatin with 1/2 cup water until combined. Allow to sit at room temperature while you continue with the other ingredients.

3. Combine the remaining water with the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-high until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil. Add the cocoa powder and continue whisking for 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

5. Cut the brownies with a plastic knife. Layer two squares together, and trim the edges so they’re even. Spread a layer of strawberry jam between the layers.

6. When the chocolate mixture is pourable but not runny, place the brownie-jam sandwiches on a wire rack over a baking sheet and spoon the glaze over them. If the glaze is too thin, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes and try again. Once glazed, top the petit fours with strawberries.

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How to Make Chocolate Mochi

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files

Long before I ever posted my first mochi recipe here, my friend Eling and I were talking about our shared love of it. She once bought fresh strawberry mochi in Hawaii and packed it in her suitcase, only to arrive home in Massachusetts to the news that the airline had lost her luggage. For mochi lovers like us, that’s a big bummer.

After I got started on my mochi kick last year, Eling had the ingenious idea of mixing cocoa powder into my grandma’s chi chi dango mochi recipe. It was immediately a hit with everyone she shared it with, and I asked if I could share the recipe here with you. Not only did she say yes, she also offered to publish her chocolate version of the butter mochi recipe on her blog! Oh, you lovers of chocolate and mochi, you’re in for a treat. You’ll find chocolate chi chi dango mochi here, and chocolate chip butter mochi over at Eling’s blog.

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files


1 lb. mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour from Bob’s Red Mill)
2 ¼ cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups water
1 (12 ounce) can coconut milk

Plus 1/4 cup each confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder to for rolling. Eling uses plain cocoa, and has also used shredded coconut. Let your imagination run wild!

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the mochiko, sugar, cocoa and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, water, and coconut together. Then, blend the wet and dry ingredients well, using your hands to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Cover tightly and bake for 90 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, replace the foil and allow to stand for up to 10 hours.
  4. Using a plastic knife, cut into small pieces. Mix the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together, and roll the mochi in the mixture before wrapping with wax or parchment paper.

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files

P.S. Don’t forget to visit Eling’s blog for her chocolate chip butter mochi, which is basically a decadent gluten-free brownie. Impossible to resist, I tell ya.

P.P.S. More mochi recipes.


Weekend Links + Coming Together

Frock Files | Weekend Links + Coming Together

We dove right back in when we returned from our trip, and this week has been chock full of exciting new possibilities, projects galore, and yes, even surgery (she’s spayed!) for poor little Kona. She’s truly disgruntled about the horrific cone she has to wear for the next two days.

And all three of us are re-adjusting to life as we know it. Does anyone else have a hard time getting back into a routine after a long vacation? I was in a good rhythm before we left and I’m finding it difficult to get into the groove again.

I’ve been collecting links, and here are the five most awesome things I found to share with you:

Weekend Links

This video echoes my own thoughts. Especially the one about working hard.

What happens when a homeless man and a computer programmer come together.

Five minutes is about all the time I can take to make lunch. This soup is my new obsession!

The secret to making difficult tasks easy.

The prettiest walnut butter cookies you ever did see. Oh, and they’re GF and dairy free – bonus!


What are you up to this weekend? Last minute shopping? Tree decorating? Sleeping in? Whatever you’ve got on your plate, may it be merry, bright, and delicious.

Photo Credit BWG Magazine

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Simple Recipe: Butter Mochi

Easy and Decadent Butter Mochi

Since we’re headed back to Hawaii next week, I thought it might be a good time to roll out a recipe from my home state. Butter mochi lies somewhere between a custard and a cake — it’s sweet, fluffy, and sticky all at once.

This is one of my favorite food gifts for the holidays, since people never expect it and the recipe makes enough for multiple recipients. Everyone from babies to grandparents love butter mochi. And since it’s gluten-free, it’s great for friends who have a gluten intolerance. Forget the fruitcake; mochi is where it’s at!

Easy and Decadent Butter Mochi


3 1/2 cups sweet rice flour (Mochiko)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
5 eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cans evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
1 stick butter (melted)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan. Whisk together the sweet rice flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Beat the eggs and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the evaporated milk, coconut milk, and butter and beat on low until combined.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beating on low the whole time, until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Use a plastic knife to cut into small pieces.

P.S. If you love mochi, check out my grandma’s chi chi dango mochi, as well as my posts on pumpkin mochi and how to make mochi ice cream!

Easy and Decadent Butter Mochi

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